Nothing can be done about Khaleda's treatment abroad: law minister
Law Minister Anisul Huq said the government cannot do anything about the issue of sending BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia abroad for better medical treatment as she is obligated to stay in the country as per the nature of her conditional release.
Her existing conditional release must therefore be revoked before the terms of her release can be changed and new considerations can be made, the minister told journalists in response to their queries at the Secretariat today.
On Sunday, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir urged the government to arrange Khaleda's treatment abroad within 48 hours, warning that it would be held responsible if anything happened to her.
In this regard, Anisul said, "The application for suspending Khaleda's jail sentence has to be sent to the home ministry. The home ministry will then send the application to the law ministry for legal opinion."
Meanwhile, about BNP's demand to follow a 1990 UN declaration that says the government is responsible for sending a convicted person abroad for better treatment if necessary, the minister said the declaration also mentioned that the law of the country concerned will get priority in such cases. "As per the law, we currently cannot bring any change to Khaleda's conditional release."
On September 18, the home ministry issued a notification extending the suspension of Khaleda's jail term by another six months.
Khaleda has to receive treatment in Dhaka, and she will not be allowed to go abroad during this period, said the notification.
The 78-year-old former prime minister has been suffering from various ailments, including liver cirrhosis, arthritis, diabetes, kidney, lung, heart, and eye problems.
Since her conditional release in 2020, the BNP chief has been receiving treatment at Evercare Hospital under a medical board.
On February 8, 2018, Khaleda was sent to the Old Dhaka Jail after a lower court sentenced her to five years imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. Later, she was found guilty in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case the same year.
On March 25, 2020, the government temporarily freed Khaleda Zia from jail through an executive order suspending her sentence with the condition that she would stay in her Gulshan house and not leave the country.